Use the Phil Mickelson approach to beat your competition

Photo by Steven Shircliff on Unsplash
Photo by Steven Shircliff on Unsplash

Phil Mickelson won his first major tournament in eight years on May 23, 2021, and became the oldest player in history to do it.

His journey to the trophy was every bit as exhilarating as a blockbuster movie. Hero uses ingenuity to overcome the hurdles, narrowly misses the target, tries again…

Maybe a little like the story of your business.

Phil began last week ranked No. 115 in the world. Where is your company ranked on Fortune 500? Maybe it’s not. Yet.

In his article, Andrew Beaton of the Wall Street Journal noted that “sportsbooks had his odds of winning around 280-to-1 — and that seemed generous.”

When asked how he beat the odds, Phil said,

“I just believed that it was possible.”

If you don’t know the whole story, you don’t know how important that part of his approach was.

You may not feel like you’re winning at times, but so often, you have no idea how it will play out.

Each hole was a new challenge for Phil, just like each month or quarter in your business.

Beaton noted, the course and weather were formidable so “the winner would be the one who could simply survive the difficult conditions.”

Sounds a lot like a business – before, during, and after the pandemic.

Phil didn’t make great shots all weekend. But he made them, analyzed the result, and adjusted creatively in the moment. On certain holes, Phil chose clubs that aren’t commonly used there. He was willing and able to be flexible and play his own game.

Combining his belief that it was possible to win with tenacity, creativity, and years of showing up and doing the hard work, it became a reality.

I’m not a golf enthusiast. I only pay attention to the results when it makes the news because something miraculous or disastrous happened.

Phil Mickelson has made some of those big headlines, which made me a big fan. He inspired me with his wins, and when he lost, sometimes spectacularly, it made me feel like he was human like me.

He plays golf the way I would – losing big sometimes but showing up ready to compete again, believing I could win. It’s the perfect analogy for business.

As we hit the year’s halfway point, look at your business goals. If you aren’t on track to win the year, it’s the perfect time to consider less traditional, more creative strategies.

Break away from the pack – approach the same course your competitors are playing with different ‘clubs’. Like:

  • Use unconventional language to talk about your product or service. For example, is your product or service part of a “recipe” for success? A “tool” in a professional toolbox?
  • Invest in photography that captures your brand and puts your product or service in the context of your customer’s life.
  • Do less social media, more email marketing.
  • Sponsor a different event.
  • Attend a different conference.
  • Offer a webinar or lunch-and-learn to a trade organization that is full of your ideal customers.
  • Reach out to a trade publication and offer to write a blog with helpful information for their membership.

It’s time to shake things up and try a new approach. Your competition might be intense, but tenacity and creativity will win out. Just ask Phil or me!

If you’re ready to add creativity to your business tenacity, let’s talk!